Dermatologist Shares Tips to Prevent Dry Winter Skin

Winter is a time of year when cold weather and dry air can lead to itchy and irritated skin. With the recent snowfall and extreme cold, Michiganders are likely to start noticing flaky skin and cracked lips as temperatures continue to dip.

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and therefore should be treated with care. Effective skin care regimens differ based on factors such as age, gender and skin type, but weather is also an important factor in determining what our skin needs to stay healthy.

“Exposure to soap, water, and the cold dry air can make dry skin worse,” said Dr. Steven Daveluy, a dermatologist with Wayne State University Physician Group. “The key to healthy skin in the winter is reducing things that dry your skin and increasing things that help moisturize.”

Here Dr. Daveluy’s tips for keeping your skin healthy throughout the winter months:

  • Apply moisturizer frequently. Be sure to apply it as soon as possible after bathing or washing your hands (keep it in your bathroom so it’s handy). Thicker moisturizers like creams and ointments work better than thinner ones like lotions. For your hands, it’s best if you can carry some hand cream with you and apply it throughout the day.
  • Keep baths short. Soap and water dry the skin. Take short (5-10 minutes) baths with lukewarm, not hot, water. Always wear gloves for work with water and detergents, such as washing the dishes.
  • Wear lip balm. Try to find one that has an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember you still need to protect your skin from the damaging UV radiation of the sun during the winter.
  • Bundle up. Limit the amount of skin exposed to the cold air and wind by wearing coats, scarves, hats and gloves.
  • A humidifier can really help to add moisture to the air in your house. If you notice you get a static shock whenever you touch something, then your air is too dry.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends avoiding skin care products that contain alcohol or fragrances as these may cause dryness. Click here to read the AAD’s top tips for dry skin relief.

If your dry skin is not relieved by the tips above, a dermatologist can provide a professional skin evaluation and may prescribe a special cream or medication. Be sure to check your insurance plan coverage and requirements before making an appointment to see a specialist.

Read more tips: Keep your skin moisturized all winter long

What are your tips for keeping skin healthy during Michigan’s cold winter months?

Photo Credit: LearningLark

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Read 6 Comments

  1. I didn’t realize that I had really bad winter skin problems until I last met with my dermatologist. He prescribed a really thick cream for me to use to help it and he gave me some tips. Sharing your tip about moisturizer being better for your skin has clarified a lot that my dermatologist explained. Thanks for sharing.

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